Date of Award
Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
Dr. Whitney Lucas Molitor, PhD, OTD, OTR/L, BCG
Cancer, occupational therapy, pre-habilitation, advocacy, patient education, provider education
Tumor and blood-based cancer diagnosis rates are increasing rapidly in the United States. To improve survivorship, treatment practices are constantly evolving, however, patients are often left to face the consequences of survival. With decreased range of motion, strength, and ability to participate in desired activities, patients may experience a decrease in overall quality of life. Through a holistic lens, occupational therapists are well suited to address the diverse needs of cancer patients through the duration of their cancer treatments. Unfortunately, occupational therapy remains a widely underutilized service for this population. This capstone experience worked to address this gap by expanding the role of occupational therapy for patients in Hawarden, Iowa through education to stakeholders and treatment of cancer patients. After development of informational materials and individualized meetings, the capstone site saw an increase in cancer-related referrals. To further apply the role of occupational therapy with this population, informational group sessions were offered to community members in a virtual and in-person setting. A final component of the capstone experience was the development of a pre-habilitation protocol manual to support the further expansion of these offerings at Hawarden Regional.
Clark, Erika N., "Expanding the Role of Occupational Therapy for Oncology Patients: A Focus on Tumor- and Blood-Based Cancers" (2022). Occupational Therapy Capstone Presentations. 77.